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Aug 29, 2012

Tools for Learning Japanese

Here is a list of useful tools that will make your Japanese learning much easier. Some of these tools have been mentioned in other posts, so there will be links to those posts in the entries here. If you have other tools that you'd like to share, please feel free to comment at the bottom of the page!


Anki is a flashcard program that is based on a spaced-repetition system. This means that your flashcards will appear more or less frequently based on how well you know them. With Anki, you can load in example sentences or vocabulary words and use the program to review and remember them long-term.


With learning Japanese, you'll obviously need some dictionaries around to look up new words. It's always good to have a few bookmarked in case you can't find the word that you're looking for one any one of them.


One of the biggest problems with learning Japanese on your own outside of Japan is never having access to native speakers of the language. You don't have anyone to practice talking with or to offer you guidance/corrections. Luckily for us, there's Lang-8. On this website, you can write journal entries in Japanese and receive critique and feedback from native speakers. If you so desire, you can also become friends with Japanese users that are seeking to learn English and do a language exchange. This is a great way to work on your speaking/writing ability.

Remembering the Kana/Kanji

These two books are extremely helpful when it comes to learning the Japanese writing system. Both books are written by James Heisig, and their titles are Remembering the Kana and Remembering the Kanji (often referred to as RTK). With these two books (only the first book in the Remembering the Kanji series is recommended), you will have a much easier time tackling the most difficult part of the Japanese language – the writing system. With these books at your side, you're unstoppable.

Reviewing the Kanji

This website is built around the Remembering the Kanji books by James Heisig. The site has many great features, such as a shared pool of mnemonic stories for each kanji and a spaced-repetition system like Anki's to help you keep up on your reviews. This site makes using the Remembering the Kanji books much, much easier, and I highly recommend that you try it out!

Sound Effect Translation

The Japanese language has a lot of sound effects, and sometimes it's hard to find them listed in a normal dictionary. This site has a massive index of sound effects, so you can finally understand just what the heck is going on in manga.


  1. えらいですね、

  2. I'm surprised I haven't come across the SFX translation site before that is really cool, I always get stumped on what is going on in manga as nowhere ever teaches onomatopoeia.